• Sep
    05

    Dean Bartoli Smith The Oriole Poet - "Buck's Guys"

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    Buck's Guys -- Surfer Boog and McLouth -- tied with Yankees

    It's September 5th and the Orioles have tied the Yankees for first place in the Division. It's not May or June--and suddenly we find ourselves in a strange position-- a pennant race.

    That's right. A race that's not the Grand Prix.

    This hasn't happened since 1997 when it was the Yankees who closed the gap on the Orioles lead. Not since the mid 70s has the city had a contending football and baseball team.

    The Orioles crushed the Jays last night, 12-0 behind a great performance on the mound by Zach Britton. Some of my astute friends predicted this--even Yankees fans.

    "Wait until Buck brings his guys in," they said.

    Mark Reynolds (Surfer Boog) has come alive and so has the pesky hustler Nate McLouth. Cult heroes like Lew Ford have contributed. There has been a carefully selected procession of Buck's guys of late and they all share one trait with their manager.

    They have something to prove. None have won a World Series. Guys like Jim Thome have come close--but no champagne-drenched cigar. Now they are taking out their frustrations on the American League.

    Surfer Boog and his band of scrappers. When he struck out on Monday against Toronto, Reynolds threw his bat and slammed his helmet down. I haven't seen an Oriole do that in decades. Last night, Showalter glared at J.J. Hardy when he failed to take second on a throw to the plate. We were ahead 7-0.

    It's the details, the little things that make you a champion.

    The Bronx Bombers are coming into Camden Yards this weekend for a 4 game series. Will the fans show up?

    A lot has been written about that lately. Where are the fans? I think you will see them flock to the Yards over the next 30 days. We just finished the Grand Prix and the kids are back in school. Judging by the plethora of orange I've seen lately, we're good for it.

    Let's face it, the MASN broadcast is pretty darn good. You get a world class announcer in Gary Thorne and Buck's press conference which is one of the most entertaining three minutes of the summer for me.

    The radio broadcasts are first rate too. Baseball is a great sport to imagine from a radio call.

    It's expensive to live in Baltimore city. The property taxes are exorbitant-- a dear tariff on trash collection that diminishes my disposable income. The water is expensive--60% more than when I lived in Northern Virginia. I can afford to take my kids via the Dugout Club, a great bargain, but not otherwise on any kind of a regular basis and I live 12 minutes away from Eutaw Street.

    I will be there this weekend.


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